Better Eating,
Better Health:

The Benefits of Good Nutrition

Photo: Tracy Owens Nutrition Counselor, Registered Dietitian; Vivian Howard Award-winning chef & author, co-creator of A Chef’s Life

Nutrition Counseling for Better Health

Eating healthy foods and well-balanced meals can help you live a longer, healthier life. Food is medicine! It fuels your body and can help you fight disease.

A Nutrition Counselor can help you eat healthier. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina understands the benefits of healthy eating. That’s why we have a large network of Nutrition Counselors, and their services are covered by many of our plans.

Why see a Nutrition Counselor?

Some people seek nutrition counseling to lose weight. But there are many other reasons to go:

  • To manage diseases and chronic conditions (like high cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes)
  • To help with anxiety and depression
  • To have more energy throughout the day
  • To have fewer aches, pain, and joint issues
  • To address food allergies

At your visit, your Counselor typically will:

  • Ask about your medical history and any prescriptions or vitamins you’re taking
  • Ask you about what you eat in a day, and how often you eat
  • Talk with you about your health goals
  • Create a personal nutrition plan you can put into action every day
  • Give you the support and information you need to lead a healthier life

You can log into Blue Connect to look up your plan’s coverage and find a Nutrition Counselor. Use the Find a Doctor tool to search for a “Dietitian” or “Nutritionist.”

Check Your Plan’s Coverage

Swapping Recipes with Vivian Howard

The key to healthier eating can be as simple as swapping an ingredient or two. Enjoy these and other quick-tip videos.

All in the Family

Vivian helps her dad John Howard manage his diabetes with an inventive new dish — definitely not your father’s spaghetti and meatballs! 

Make Un-Spaghetti with Broccoli and Tomato Sauce

Where’s the Fire?

How do you keep a bunch of hungry firefighters both well-fed and healthy? Here’s a whole new take on mashed potatoes and gravy.

Make Mashed Un-Potatoes with Veggie Gravy

Old Friend, New Tricks

Vivian’s friend Miss Lillie has lived a long time without ever tasting zucchini. What happens when she finally tries it?

Make Healthier Beef-and-Mac

Healthy Recipes

Featured Recipes for December:

Apple Steel-Cut Oats

A refreshing twist on wintery oatmeal: you lightly toast the steel-cut oats before adding fresh apples into the mixture. Cinnamon and brown sugar, plus the protein of Greek yogurt for serving, makes for a well-rounded and satisfying breakfast.

Mac & Cheese

What if Mac & Cheese took on a caramel and nutty taste? That’s what you get with this delicious mac & cheese for grown-ups, using the unexpected ingredient butternut squash, along with sharp and sweet Gouda cheese. Makes you wish for cold weather!


View All Recipes

Farmers Market

Shop Locally at Farmers Markets

Farmers markets are great places to find fresher and lower-priced fruits and veggies. Try visiting a farmers market the next time you’re shopping for healthy foods. You can talk with local farmers, try samples of foods and support your community.

Find a Farmers Market

Thrive NC


Food brings us together as a community! Come celebrate with us at Thrive NC, May 10 and 11 at City Market in downtown Raleigh. This exciting food festival is presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina.

Meet top chefs Vivian Howard and Ashley Christensen. Sample food from 50 local restaurants and breweries. Get health tips from Nutrition Counselors. And enjoy live music! Buy your tickets today at


Nutrition Blog

Blueberry BBQ Chicken
My ‘Deep Run’ Dinner Party​

I live for a party. Always. So, when I got my copy of celebrity chef Vivian Howard’s Deep Run Roots cookbook, I knew I had to plan a dinner get-together...

 | Mar 27, 2018 | Health & Wellness

Too Busy to Eat Healthy? Try Meal Prep Vivian Howard’s Way
Too Busy to Eat Healthy? Try Meal Prep Vivian Howard’s Way​

“I stay pretty busy during the week, so Sundays are my meal prep days. Since food is my job, I may do things a little different than most..."

 | Mar 27, 2018 | Health & Wellness

North Carolina Thrives on Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
North Carolina Thrives on Fresh Fruits and Vegetables​

The farm-to-fork movement has become trendy in many places around the country, but North Carolina was way ahead of the curve on this. A couple of hundred years ahead...

 | Apr 10, 2018 | Health & Wellness

Faces of Fearless

Leaping into a new venture. Facing challenges with bravery. There are many ways to Live Fearless, and we celebrate North Carolinians who live this philosophy day in, day out.

This award-winning chef is rediscovering and reinventing North Carolina cuisine. Read Vivian’s story

She’s set the table for all to enjoy the pleasure of dining out. Read Maggie’s Story

30 years after co-founding InterFaith Food Shuttle, this activist is not slowing down. Read Jill's Story